Co-Working Boom: More Places to Park Your Laptop
Looking for a spot to launch your next start-up? You've got more options than ever.
There are now more than 1,300 "co-working" spaces worldwide, according to a report from Deskmag, a Berlin-based online publication that follows co-working trends--with more than half of them in big cities of 1 million or more residents. The site reports that the total number of shared work spaces worldwide has been doubling annually for several years; New York in particular has seen a leap from 28 to 62 locations in the past year.
But while demand for the desks is growing, the boom also means good news for entrepreneurs, with landlords offering more extras to lure in new renters. WeWork, for instance, which currently operates four spaces in New York and one in San Francisco, offers at least two events a week, a healthcare program for clients, and a "summer camp" weekend in the Berkshires packed with live music and speakers.
And Brooklyn's Bitmap Creative Labs, which serves architects, graphic designers, and other creative professionals, tends to assign desks "so that people in complementary professions are neighbors," notes Crain's New York.
Miguel McKelvey, who co-founded WeWork two and a half years ago with Adam Neumann, tells Inc. that demand for space is so great that interested parties often have to be waitlisted. The company plans to open up three new spaces in the coming year, McKelvey says.
Tony Bacigalupo, who started one of the first New York co-working spaces, New Work City, in 2008, also says he sees strong demand from freelancers, small businesses, and start-ups continuing to grow. "Really, what I'm increasingly thinking about is how we can help other co-working communities that want to get started--and help facilitate the opening of more of these places," Bacigalupo says.
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